MESS, George Jo
Color etching and aquatint on simili-Japan paper. Edition unknown, but likely small. Signed and titled in pencil.
Rhythmic organic forms, beautiful modulations of light and shadow make the work of Indiana printmaker George Jo Mess mesmerizing to the eye. Often a centrally located tree winds graceful branches into the corners of the composition, peacefully drawing the viewer's gaze throughout the plate.
One of three sons who all became artists, George Jo Mess was born in Indiana in 1898. He took his first art class at the age of 13. After graduating from Columbia University, he returned to Indianapolis in 1925 to found and teach at the Circle Art Academy. That same year he met his wife, Evelynne Bernloehr. An accomplished artist and printmaker in her own right, she inspired him to try printmaking – sharing techniques and methods, advising him, and helping to print his editions. She helped him find his natural gift for the medium.
George enjoyed much artistic success throughout his life, showing at such venues as the Chicago Art Institute, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. In Europe, his works were exhibited in Stockholm, Paris, and Rome. Proudly recognized as a prominent Indiana Hoosier Artist, he passed away in 1962.